We are starting up our weekly author interview section of our blog again and this week’s interview is with Charles Malcolm Wingard. He is the author of Help for the New Pastor: Practical Advice for Your First Year of Ministry.

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  • Question #1—Tell us a little bit about yourself: where you’re from, family, job, personal interests, unique hobbies, what you do in your spare time, etc.

I serve as Associate Professor of Practical Theology and Dean of Students at Reformed Theological Seminary in Jackson, Mississippi and as Senior Pastor of First Presbyterian Church of Yazoo City. Prior to joining the RTS Jackson faculty in 2014, I spent 28 years as an ordained pastor in the PCA and OPC, serving congregations in North Carolina, Massachusetts, and Alabama. My hobbies include hiking, running, reading political and military history, and traveling with my wife, Lynne. We love the ministry of hospitality.


  • Question #2—When did you first want to write a book?

I had no interest in writing a book. In 2011, Lynne began encouraging me to write a book to help young ministers. I reluctantly agreed. I am more interested in doing ministry than writing about it.


  • Question #3—Which writers inspire you?

Apart from the writers of sacred scriptures: Augustine, John Calvin, numerous Puritan authors, David Wells, Paul Johnson, Jane Austen, and George Elliot (Mary Ann Evans).


  • Question #4—Have you always enjoyed writing?

My parents expected me to write letters. It became a habit, an enjoyable one. I write many letters each year, including to members of my congregation on their birthdays. For most of my ministry, I have written one sermon manuscript per week. The built-in deadlines mean that I face little in the way of writer’s block.


  • Question #5—What inspired you to write this book, about this topic?

The first year of ministry is a critical time for new pastors. Young ministers want to arrive at their first church prepared for the daily challenges of the pastorate. I wanted to cover the primary duties of the minister – from sermon preparation and sacraments to visitation, counseling and hospitality. I fear that students may receive a theological education, yet still leave seminary ill-equipped for the daily work that faces them in their first church. Help for the New Pastor provides the tools they need to care for their congregations and lead with confidence.


  • Question #6—What book are you reading now?

Windsprints, Joseph Epstein; All That Is God, James E. Dolezal; The Seminarian: Martin Luther King Jr. Comes of Age, Patrick Parr; An Able and Faithful Ministry: Samuel Miller and the Pastoral Office, James M. Garretson


  • Question #7—Other than the Bible, do you have a favorite book?

The Pilgrim’s Progress, John Bunyan


  • Question #8—Favorite sport to watch? 

Any sports that the children of my congregation play. I root for their teams. I love the fellowship I have with my church families at the athletic field.


  • Question #9—Favorite food?

Lynne is a spectacular chef. So, whatever she’s serving.


  • Question #10—Favorite animal?

My two long-haired, miniature dachshunds, Jem and Scout. They are 13-years old, and I love walking them with my grandchildren and the children of my congregation.


  • Question #11—What famous person (living or dead) would you like to meet and why?

John Quincy Adams. His extraordinary intellect, principled conduct, and breadth of public service alone make him an interesting figure. Moreover, because of the years he lived (1767-1848) and influential connections, he knew almost every major American leader from the American Revolution to the Civil War.


  • Question #12—If you have a favorite book of the Bible, what is it and why?

Whichever books I’m preaching, which currently are Exodus and Romans.


How can readers discover more about you and your work?